Santa opened the holiday shopping season in Margate Saturday, Nov. 27, 2021.

MARGATE – Move over big box stores. Santa rowed his boat into Margate Saturday to open the holiday shopping season.

The Margate Business Association celebrated Shop Small Weekend with businesses offering deep discounts on merchandise, contests and a parade that brought Santa and his friends to Bocca Coal Fired Pizza on a green Margate Beach Patrol surf boat. Member of the Margate Fire Department provided the escort that American Sign Language Santa deserves.

Children came out in droves with their parents and siblings to meet the Jolly Old Elf and see Lucy the Elephant pass by on a pickup truck.

Afterward they warmed up inside Bocca and did arts and crafts and enjoyed some pizza and pop.

Children put their letters to Santa in the big red mailbox inside Bocca, took a chance for a prize at the Sustainable Margate table where they picked up seed packets to plant flowers next summer that attract Monarch butterflies.

Parents will continue their shopping spree through the weekend with two opportunities for more fun:

Receipts Are All the Rage: Customers can take a photo of their receipt from any Margate business purchase made Friday to Sunday, Nov. 26-28, and send the receipt photo to There will be one randomly selected winner who will receive a gift certificate from the store of purchase. Winners will be notified via email.

Shop Small Selfie Contest: Take a picture in front of your favorite business and send the photo to by Sunday, Nov. 28. On Monday, public voting for the best photo will begin with the winner announced on Dec. 4.


Categories: Downbeach

Nanette LoBiondo Galloway

Award winning journalist covering news, events and people of Atlantic County for more than 20 years.